29 July 2013
App of the Week: NuOffer
Until recently, the world of real estate hadn’t caught up to the digital age. For real estate agents, drafting up contracts is the dreaded part of the job, while for buyers, the market is a big black hole. To address this problem, programmer and designer Kevin Hincker partnered with veteran real estate agent Imraan Ali, to drastically simplify the real estate market and bring it to the digital world. The duo turned to Corona SDK to develop NuOffer, a new business app currently being piloted in Texas. Imraan and Kevin brought on product development specialist Bryan Ingram, who was working with Google at the time, to lead marketing and product development for the company.
NuOffer digitizes paperwork that normally keeps agents chained to their desks for hours each day. By quickly creating customized offer letters, NuOffer lets agents sign forms digitally and send them to buyers for review and approval. Kevin told me that manually drafting just one offer can take an hour, while NuOffer cuts this down to just 3 minutes. The app frees up time for agents to focus on networking with new clients and meeting the needs of existing buyers instead of filling out a mountain of paperwork. Selecting from a large inventory of properties, both buyers and agents can also select their “favorite” homes and schedule viewings – another way for both parties to stay active and organized.
In addition to the digital housing inventory, buyers reap more benefits. Buyers can sign documents from anywhere in the world – from the comfort of their home, or while vacationing in Greece – with an internet connection. Not only does this apply to the initial negotiation letter, but also to counter offers, inspections and other documents associated with home purchase.
The service gives buyers an organized way to keep track of all the documents, starting at initial home purchase to inspections to upgrades. NuOffer also alerts buyers when an inspection occurs, when escrow paperwork comes in, updates them on the status of a loan application, schedules housing check-ups and more.
When asked why the team picked Corona SDK to develop the app, Hincker spoke of Corona’s rapid speed of development, the simplicity of the Lua language, and the ability to iterate quickly and build to the specs of the project in a fraction of the time. Kevin noted that Corona minimized the project’s opportunity cost and allowed his team to quickly launch to the App Store.
The app currently features 80,000 Texas properties with plans to expand by the end of the year. The agent subscription fee is $15 a month and will soon roll out a marketplace where vendors such as contractors, landscapers, plumbers and other accredited professionals will be available for hire. If you’re an agent in the Texas area, join the pilot program and download NuOffer from the App Store. To stay up to date on new service areas throughout the country, check NuOffer’s site.